Ravens Owner Steve Biscotti Thinks Ray Rice's Camp Is Behind Rumors They Had Detailed Knowledge Of Elevator Tape
Steve Biscotti held a press conference today to address accusation in an ESPN OTL article that alleges the Ravens organization may have had access to or intimate knowledge of the elevator tape and chosen not to do anything about it, even going as far as trying to hide it. It also claims they may have sought leniency for Rice.
Biscotti sees these allegations as a smear tactic waged by Rice's attorney Michael J. Diamondstein, who is part of the attempt to get the running back reinstated. From ESPN's original article:
[OTL] "Outside the Lines" interviewed more than 20 sources over the past 11 days -- team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives and associates, advisers and friends of Rice -- and found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night.
After the Feb. 15 incident in the casino elevator, Ravens executives — in particular owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome — began extensive public and private campaigns pushing for leniency for Rice on several fronts: from the judicial system in Atlantic County, where Rice faced assault charges, to commissioner Goodell, who ultimately would decide the number of games Rice would be suspended from this fall, to within their own building, where some were arguing immediately after the incident that Rice should be released.
The Ravens also consulted frequently with Rice's Philadelphia defense attorney, Michael J. Diamondstein, who in early April had obtained a copy of the inside-elevator video and told Cass: "It's f—-ing horrible." Cass did not request a copy of the video from Diamondstein but instead began urging Rice's legal team to get Rice accepted into a pretrial intervention program after being told some of the program's benefits. Among them: It would keep the inside-elevator video from becoming public.
Biscotti claims that a police officer recounted what happened in the elevator tape to a Ravens official, which he described as being low quality (the tape, not the official). Of course, Biscotti is trying to build the case that the Ravens did not know the extent to which Rice had abused his then-fiancée. Either way, we'll probably never know unless a member of the Ravens front office comes forward and contradicts what the team has maintained all along, and that is that they were unaware that Rice had punched Janay Palmer until TMZ posted the video three weeks ago.
[OTL] The Ravens responded to various questions Friday and disputed the "Outside the Lines" reporting, saying it was not their initial understanding Rice had knocked out Janay "with a punch."
Prompted by a reporters question, Biscotti then apologized for not obtaining the elevator tape, saying that, had it occurred to him that he needed to watch it, he would have.
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